WHITMAN — There were other felled trees that caused actual damage during the Friday, Dec. 23 storm, but few made the impact of the 114-year-old maple that miraculously caused no damage at 54 South Ave. — the front lawn of Whitman Town Hall.
As crews from Palaza & McDonough Tree Service of Whitman cut the tree apart and removed it Tuesday morning, interim Town Administrator Frank Lynam said it was a lucky thing that nothing got damaged when the tree fell.
“The piece that fell was enormous,” he said.
Town Clerk Dawn Varley said she was amazed that the tree caused no damage when she drove over on Friday to check it out as soon as she heard about it.
“Nothing,” she said. “It didn’t hit a sidewalk, it didn’t hit a bench. I was amazed. … It must have been loud.”
“I’ve had three different people give me condolences on the tree,” said Assistant Town Clerk Michael Ganshirt. “It is sad.”
The tree, one of a pair planted in 1907, was 114 years old. The other one had been removed years ago.
“It was a beautiful tree,” he said.
Varley said she didn’t think the tree was rotten, but Lynam said it was determined to be diseased and it was decided to remove it.
“It’s pretty amazing what the’re doing there,” he said as the crews worked right outside his office window.
Varley said her opinion was the wind came from a direction the tree was not accustomed to.
Lynam said not many in Whitman lost power and only some in Hanson.
At the height of Friday’s storm, more than 55,000 homes across Massachusetts were left without power as winds associated with storm Elliot knocked down trees, branches and power lines, according to published reports.
Hanson 32 customers out of 4,411 lost power and there were no outages among the 6,547 Whitman customers of National Grid. Hanson customers were expected to have power restored by 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 24.
The Hanson Fire Department arranged for the Hanson Public Library to be opened as a warming center on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon for those residents still without power.
National Grid has classified the incoming weather event as a Type-3 event which means in the event of power loss it can take up to 72 hours for restoration. Make sure you are prepared for the possible loss of power.
Whitman Town Hall narrowly escaped damage as a large portion of a tree on the front lawn came crashing down on the building’s front steps.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reported that 55,988 customers of the state’s three electricity providers – Eversource, National Grid and UNITIL were left without power as of 7:30 a.m., Friday. Most of the outages — more than 56,000 — were reported in Essex County and Methuen was the hardest-hit community with more than 4,000 customers losing power.
Worcester County, also a mostly National Grid-served area saw 8,300 outages. There were more than 7,000 in Middlesex County. Other outages by County Friday morning were: Norfolk County, more than 5,400; Plymouth County, more than 5,300; Hampden County, over 4,600; Berkshire County more than 4,300; Bristol County, more than 4,500; Hampshire County, 1,300 and. Lesser damage was seen in Barnstable County with more than 800 in the dark and Franklin County with over 200 customers without power on Friday morning. Dukes and Nantucket counties both reported only one customer losing power.